Tripartite Weekend – 26-28 April 2024

This year it was the turn of Winchester Rotary to welcome and host our friends from our link clubs in France and Germany – the Rotary Club of Le Havre de Grâce and the Rotary Club of Oberhausen Antony-Hütte.

Some of our guests had arrived on Thursday afternoon and were home hosted and entertained to dinner by various club members and also an Inner Wheel hostess.

Dinner party photos

The Tripartite Weekend officially started at lunchtime on Friday 26 April with a buffet lunch at St Peter’s Parish Centre in Jewry Street. President Les Haswell welcomed everyone – the remaining guests had arrived that morning.

Lunch was followed by a previously chosen afternoon tour: Winchester Cathedral, Winchester College or a guided tour of the city; all 3 were well attended.

Welcome lunch and city tour photos

After a period of free time to relax, we enjoyed an excellent barbecue at Unit 12, Winnall Valley Road, where Winchester Rotary had provided funding and manpower to restore the garden Our thanks to Rotarians Dominic Hiscock and Dave Stewart for preparing excellent food and to Rotarian Nick Bell who organised free flowing wine, beer and soft drinks.

Barbecue photos

Saturday dawned cold, grey and windy, like most of the weekend weather. We made an early start for a day out in Chichester to enjoy the wonderful Chichester Cathedral with its unique Tudor paintings, modern artworks, such as pieces by Graham Sutherland, John Piper and Marc Chagall, plus the spectacular modern baptismal font by John Skelton. After lunch we visited the Novium Museum. Just as we were entering the beautiful Bishop’s Garden, the rain poured down. However, nothing dampened the spirits of our guests.

Chichester photos

The Côte Brasserie – venue for our Saturday evening Gala Dinner, proved to be a great success. We took over the top floor which was soon buzzing with conversation and laughter. A sparkling wine reception was followed by a most enjoyable meal. The staff looked after us extremely well. Presidential speeches were made by our own Les Haswell, Philippe Teyssier of Le Havre and Holger Rucken (Oberhausen President Elect – the current President was unable to attend) gifts exchanged and appreciation warmly expressed.

Cote Gala Dinner photos

Sunday morning, marking the end of our Tripartite Weekend, arrived all too quickly. We visited Hope Street, Southampton – conceived and created by Lady Edwina Grosvenor. This beautiful, modern building offers a sanctuary of healing and tranquility in a trauma free environment for justice involved women and children. This project was supported by Winchester Rotary during the presidency of Rotarian Deborah Macartney.

Hope Street photos

This year Winchester Rotary enjoyed the privilege of welcoming a total of 23 guests from the French and German Rotary clubs, with whom we have had a long and warm relationship, going back more than 40 years. Each year the host club nominates a project for mutual support, which can be local or international. This way the nominated project benefits from global grant funding. This year the funds will support a project providing a mobile library to schools in a rural area in SW Uganda.

This Tripartite tradition is an excellent opportunity to renew old friendships and create new ones. We are always made so welcome and generously hosted – next year let us make sure that a good number of Winchester club members return the compliment – when it will be the turn of our French friends to host

Diana Brooks

Philippe Teyssier, Les Haswell and Holger Rucken

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